Sometimes I forget that I work with cool people. Then I spotted this scribbled note. I work with cool people. #doordonot #yoda #starwarsgeek
Sometimes I forget that I work with cool people. Then I spotted this scribbled note. I work with cool people. #doordonot #yoda #starwarsgeek
We’re having a #NorthandSouth viewing party tonight at 8:40 PM EST! It’s on Netflix so we’re going to watch together all across the country and tweet about it at #northandsouthfeels. Join us!
I have no time for people who think science fiction is childish.
Would you believe that I had no idea this was a thing? I often have the opposite prejudice (which isn’t right either.) After all, the SCIENCE is right there in SCIENCE fiction. Science! Knowledge! Learning! Discovery! Exploration! Imagination! How on earth could anyone think that’s childish?
This is so calming for me I wanna stare at this forever hnnnng.
Personal significance sounds really hard to do.
Alphabetical, mostly. I do it library-style. I’m thinking of stacking some of my fantasy books, since most of them are series, but with the unread ones on top. The idea is that as I finish each book, I put it at the bottom of the stack until they’re in series order. No idea if that’ll actually save me space or not.
Nonfiction standard dewey decimal, fiction by genre and then alphabetically by author surname within genre
In sections by genre, then by height/size.
Right now, since I have NO space, I do it this way:
1. Split into YA vs. chapter/picture book/MG vs. adult/nonfiction
2. Split adult/nonfiction into read vs. unread
3. Read adult favorites are shelved by author with the rest boxed by genre and put under my bed.
4. Read nonfiction is shelved by subject.
5. Unread adult/nonfiction is shelved by effort (how long will it take me to read this book and how much concentration will I need?)
6. Chapter/picture book/MG are boxed and put under my bed, except for favorites, which are put with YA to be in easy reach.
7. YA is spit into read and unread.
8. Unread YA is shelved on its own shelf to the left and split into hardcover vs. paperback (so roughly by size.) Then, within each type, the books are stacked based on which books I want to read first (most wanted on top, least wanted on bottom.)
9. Read YA is shelved by size and then by color to make it pretty…
10. Except for favorite YA which is given a shelf all its own and shelved by author.
ugh, like there is LITERALLY no canonical evidence for the ~han solo: space womanizer~ head canon. like, when he first meets the ONE female character in the entire series that he interacts with he is GROUCHY and SHOUTY at her, not sauve and dashing. she thinks he is a tool and tells him this…
Han Solo, man. Han Solo.
Petition to ban old men from writing books just because they don’t know how to use an iPhone
Petition to have the youth in this country to actually educate themselves instead of spitting out some bull**** they read on some ****** post on facebook that’s untrue, and continues to spread like wildfire.
In 2012, young adults have set the record of completing both high school and college and are on course to become the most educated generation in American history. Maybe you should follow the example of ‘the youth in this country’ and do the same.
When Silvermay first set eyes on Tamlyn Strongbow, she knew there would be no other for her. It didn′t matter that he was one of the Wyrdborn, a race of wizards who care only for themselves.
It is half a year later and Silvermay has followed Tamlyn through dangers no sixteen-year-old should face. Now she must help him defeat the darkness of his own soul, because Tamlyn wants revenge for a great wrong and the evil he has so far controlled may prove too strong.
Meanwhile, Tamlyn′s father, Coyle, is on the rise. He has possession of Silvermay′s other love, the baby Lucien, an innocent child to her, but with the magic inside him to destroy entire worlds. Tamlyn is the key. If Silvermay can save Tamlyn from himself, then together, they might save Lucien from the horror Coyle wants to inflict on him.
You want to know how pretty I think this cover is? It’s so pretty that I immediately marked it as to-read even though it’s a sequel and I haven’t even heard of the other books in the series. It’s so pretty that I am (hypothetically) willing to seek out the other books in the series and catch up just so I can read this book. I even remain (hypothetically) interested despire the fact that a baby is mentioned in the synopsis. (Babies are ruiners of stories. Fact.)
First of all, I love the colors. The white and different shades of blue really works for me. I can’t imagine how beautiful they must look on a finished copy. I also love the defined layers. They give the scene great depth and movement while keeping everything in silhouette. It’s just a really classy look. Even the font is lovely.
Side note: These don’t have motors. They’re completely momentum/wind-powered and literally just wander around beaches unsupervised like giant abstract monsters.
these are both amazing and COMPLETELY TERRIFYING
Well, this is one of the freakier things I’ve seen in a while.
Genya, David, Tolya, and Tamar from Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
Haven’t used a mechanical pencil in awhile! This story has such great secondary characters.
((If you miss it, I’ll also be at SDCC on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.))Go see her!! The brilliantfictographis at SDCC! Can’t get over how wonderful these are. Ugh. THE BEST.
DAVID AND GENYA!! <3
Ava can start fires with her mind … but is it a blessing or a curse?
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men … and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.
Usually, I’m pretty set on what I want to say about a book as soon as I’ve finished reading it; certainly, I’ve decided before I sit down to write the review. However, every now and then, a book comes along that has too many good parts to be bad and too many prickly parts to be wholly good, and I’m stuck in the middle, wobbling like a top on its last rotation. Firebug is one of those weird, unpinnable books. I can’t push my feelings into one box or another. I enjoyed myself, and the story I got wasn’t the one I expected, but there were also some troublesome parts that messed with my connection.
Apparently, Maine is a happening place when it comes to paranormal creatures. Ava, our protagonist, is a firebug, meaning she can start fires with her mind. Her hometown of Currant and the surrounding area are under the control of a paranormal group called the Coterie, which itself is controlled by a wicked-awful vampire named Venus. Ava’s mom (also a firebug) used to work for Venus until she left to protect Ava. She was later killed by Venus’s goons, and Ava was brought under Venus’s control by a blood oath. Now she lives with her mother’s childhood sweetheart, Cade—a magicless human—and hangs out with other magical beings like Ezra the were-fox, Duncan the golem maker, and Lock the half-dryad. Lock and Ezra are also part of Ava’s team, working together to execute the hits put out by Venus… that is, until Venus puts out a hit on Duncan and they decide to fight back.
One of the biggest struggles for me in the beginning was that the world is so undefined. There is the foundation of small-town Currant, Maine, overlaid by the gritty, big-city struggles of a magical mafia, and then heaping handfuls of whatever kind of magical beings the author decided to throw in. While I appreciate that Ms. McBride steered away from the more common beasties (only one or two vampires and succubi, no werewolves, etc.), the mish-mash is hard to handle. I mean, really, magic beans? Actual Baba Yaga houses with walking chicken legs? Am I really to believe that none of the non-magic humans would notice any of this, magical wards or no magical wards? And while I love the idea of firebugs like Ava and her mother, those aren’t even “real” mythological creatures, as far as I can tell. I just feel like the world-building needed a lot more work and definition to make it feel less choppy, which makes me sad. I love world-building, so to have to piece together all the scattered parts to give myself a sense of space really distracted me from the story that needed to be told.
That being said, the details of the magic are more cohesive, which I appreciate. Like any other ability, Ava must work to control and hone her fire. She has natural talent, but is often bested by those who are older, more practiced, and more cunning. She is not a Chosen One type of character. Her power also has biological limits. Fire is a chemical reaction and depletes her of energy—firebugs are known for their high metabolism and can get themselves into serious trouble if they use their powers without plenty of snacks and potassium supplements handy. The wards and blood oaths that both protect the various paranormal townspeople and bind them to Venus had their own system of checks, balances, and loopholes that were less clearly defined but present enough to know they existed.
In the Good Guys corner, we have Ava and her little household. Ava herself is pretty fun. She’s a typical YA heroine in that she’s stubborn and a bit too mouthy for her own good. For me, she’s not someone I miss when the story is done, as she’s missing that special spark (ha) to distinguish her from other goodhearted, cynical, stubborn YA females, but I enjoyed her while I had her. Her interactions with the people she loves were a blast to read, brimming over with affection, irritation, understanding, and everything else that makes a family cohesive. Her guardian Cade is an absolute gem—in over his unmagical head but just the kind of normal, steadying influence Ava needs. For Ava, Cade means safety. Cade means belonging. Cade means home.
Her two best friends, Ezra and Lock, are pretty fantastic as well. They both came to her rescue when she was first enslaved to Venus, and the threesome have been saving each other’s hides ever since. Ezra will most likely be everyone’s favorite of the group. He is Shatter Me‘s Kenji, if Kenji were Doctor Who‘s Jack Harkness as a were-fox. He’s narcissistic, irreverent, inappropriate, never stops joking, and flirts with anything that breathes. He’s also a great friend (when he wants to be) to both Ava and Lock. Lock is half-dryad, half-human, and fully “punk rock mama bear.” Ava is the hotheaded leader (both literally and figuratively), and Ezra is the dashing comic relief, but Lock is the glue that holds them together and keeps them going. I loved the dynamic between these three. There’s a little something for everyone. On one page, they’re like siblings—bickering, sniping, and obnoxious. On another, they’re partners—three amigos doing dirty work to keep each other safe. On yet another, they’re bonded soulmates—completely vulnerable but protecting each other to the bitter end. Also, there’s more than a dash of tension, since both Ezra and Lock are supermodel hot and all three are teenagers with more physical contact than pups in a litter. The only thing I wish is that their banter had felt less like banter for banter’s sake at times. If characters are going to be clever, they need to be organically so, not like walking snark machines with one-liners jammed between their teeth.
In the Bad Guys corner, we have Venus, Owen, and her various nameless goons. None of the baddies have a lot of nuance, and that’s okay. They’re the magical mafia—power-hungry, ruthless, and more than a little sadistic. As a sexually charged vampire queen, Venus keeps her ranks under her thumb with blood and pain. She’s more than a little power mad and reminded me of Pearl from Tamora Pierce’s Bloodhound (minus the pearl teeth). Her lover/pet firebug Owen is even less defined and equally depraved, serving as her eager iron fist to slap the rest of the Coterie back into line.
Then there are the Others, both human and nonhuman. I can’t talk much about the people Ava meets later in the book, but I will say that I enjoyed them thoroughly. As Ava gears up to battle Venus, she gathers these other magical beings into her army. By then I’d gotten used to the harum-scarum melange of beings that I could have fun trying to guess who was what kind of creature. Unfortunately, I enjoyed Ava’s human friends far less. Her boyfriend Ryan is a complete jerk, one of those “nice bad boys” you just want to punch in the nose. His best friend is a total Mean Girl named Brittany who inexplicably is allowed to hang around despite constantly throwing herself at Ryan and putting Ava down. The author does give us a backstory to Ryan and Brittany and their flat portrayals, but not until the end, and by then I was so over both of them that I couldn’t be bothered to care.
Here’s the tough thing about critiquing stories and style. I have no idea what state this story started in. I don’t know how rough or polished it was before making it through professional edits. I just don’t know. What I do know is that without anything to compare it to, the product I received felt like it needed a few more rounds than it got. I’ve already talked about the world-building and how that needed beefing up, and how Ava’s human friends really needed some work, but there were other little things throughout the entire story that kept tripping me up.
For instance, Ava mentions her human friend Sylvia all the time. It’s “Sylvie this” and “Sylvie that” at different points throughout the book. I appreciate that someone along the way recognized that Ava had no female friends and tried to fix the problem. However, I didn’t include Sylvia in my breakdown of characters because she never actually appears. Seriously, Ava thinks about her all the time, but the only time we actually hear from Sylvie is when she and Ava talk on the phone once over 100 pages into the story. She’s never physically present! So what’s the point of Sylvie? She doesn’t actually fill the hole she could fill, she doesn’t add anything of value to the plot… Why does she exist?
Also, while the plot was popping with action, it kept getting interrupted by Ava’s exposition-packed dreams. Any time the author wanted to explain a big chunk of Ava’s backstory, she’d give Ava this incredibly detailed and straightforward dream that would cover days or even weeks of Ava’s childhood. Convenient, no? Try lazy.
The characters themselves made some cringe-worthy missteps as well. Ava, dear, I don’t care how much you dislike Brittany. Making fun of her apparent eating disorder is not funny. It makes you the bully, not her. And when you do crap like that and then wonder how Ryan could possibly think you’re jealous of Brittany, you get my MORON stamp on your forehead. Also, I don’t know what kind of super-sniffer you have attached to your face, but desperation does not have a definable odor, and taking a big whiff of sweat in a boy’s jacket is not cute, no matter how much you secretly have the hots for him. Ew. Also, Lock, if you grab Ava’s chin to make her look at you, no matter how tenderly or gently, I will take off your fingers. This is my promise to you. Even Ezra got on my nerves at least once, but that’ll have to go behind spoiler tags.
So… yeah. What am I supposed to do with that? For me, Firebug had some MAJOR buzzkill issues, which is a fail. But then again, I enjoyed myself most of the time, want to own my own copy, and will check out the sequel, so maybe that’s a win? I I were rating objectively, I think the problem points would be enough to drop this down to a two-star book, but I’ve never gobbled up a two-star book before, and I’ve certainly never been eager for a sequel before. My recommendation for you all would be to check this book out now that you know what you’re getting into. Hopefully, you’ll be able to overlook the issues that bothered me and allow yourself to be charmed by Ava and her friends.
Points Added For: Ezra, Lock, Ava, Cade and their relationships; mythological creatures; Ezra on page 157; FIRE.
Points Subtracted For: Ava being REALLY slow on the uptake in places, choppy world-building, expository dreams, Sylvie, Brittany, Ryan, smelling sweat, smelling desperation, making fun of eating disorders, banter for the sake of banter.
Good For Fans Of: Kenji, paranormal/magical creatures in the real world, mafia bosses, best friends who maybe want to be more, FIRE.
Notes For Parents: Smoking, language, drinking, kissing, innuendo, murder.
Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.